Leeds loses increasing numbers of NHS staff post-Brexit...but recruits them back again

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LEEDS has bucked a national trend which has seen a rise in NHS workers from EU countries leaving Britain after the Brexit vote.

The city’s hospitals saw a small rise year on year in the number of staff from the EU quitting after last summer’s referendum result.

However at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, the largest in the city, the number of new recruits from the EU (6.6 per cent of all new staff) was slightly more than the number of leavers (6.1 per cent). There were 892 staff in total leaving the Trust in 2016/17, with 54 coming from EU nations.

The figures were revealed as part of a major investigation by the BBC, which evaluated the overall pre- and post-Brexit rates of NHS staffing losses between 2014/15 and 2016/17.

It comes after the British Medical Association warned that almost half of the 10,000 EU doctors working in the UK were considering leaving in light of the result.

There has also been a sharp drop in the number of nurses registering to work in the UK.

Responding to the research, Dean Royles, director of HR for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “As a Trust we depend on a skilled and diverse workforce drawn from the UK, the EU and the wider world.

“Since the referendum, we have been supporting our EU staff through regular communications and workshops to discuss their options and keep them updated on the employment law implications of Brexit. EU staff are an essential and valuable part of our team.”

Across Yorkshire, the highest drop-off of EU workers was at Airedale Hospital where almost one in 10 of every leaver was from an EU country.

The highest exodus of EU workers nationally was at Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, where more than 22 per cent of leavers post-referendum were EU nationals.

However the picture varied across the country.

In West Hertfordshire, for example, 27.7 percent of new recruits were from EU countries and the number of joiners from the EU actually rose by a percentage point.

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